I was recently substituting in a 6th grade language arts class and this quote was on the door.
“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book yet.”
This is so true for all readers. Trudging through a book takes all the pleasure out of reading and discourages you, especially if reading is a struggle in the first place. Finding that book that transports you to a different realm is magical. Just like finding the shoe that fits, so it is finding the right author or book. I sometimes pick books based on the title or the jacket description. Once I start reading the book, I get a feel for the author’s style of writing. If the story doesn’t hook me in the first couple chapters, I put it aside and find another book to read. Life is too short to spend time on something I don’t enjoy. In the end, isn’t that the reason for pleasure reading.
In order to grow a reader, allow them to explore the many genres and writers out there. Don’t get discouraged if they have a hard time finding a book they love. Keep offering a different selection. Share information from books that you enjoy. Check to see if the library has a monthly email newsletter announcing the new releases. Talk to friends and see what their children are enjoying. Read together! Help your children to enjoy this journey and they will never be bored or lonely.
Reading should be a pleasurable time when you can take a mini vacation and travel the world in your mind. There is nothing more wonderful than finding a book, series or author that you want to share with others. In order for this to take place, it is important that you choose a book that interests you. The same is true for your child.
In school there are going to be required books and stories to read. Some will catch your child’s imagination and others they will have to just get through. However, in order to encourage your child to read for pleasure, allow them to choose books that appeal to their interests. Any book that hooks a child will keep them engrossed.
Series books are wonderful for elementary readers because they become attached to the characters and want the adventure to continue. A few series that have really caught on, besides Harry Potter, are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Junie B. Jones, Cam Jansen, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Magic Tree House, to name just a few.
Nonfiction books are another wonderful way for children to explore the world around them. See what fascinates your child–animals, history, biographies, etc.–and find books that satisfy their craving. Take a trip to the local library and see what strikes your child’s fancy. The books are free to borrow and allow for a variety of choice.
To show that you value reading, make a time when you can read together. You can read a book while your child reads their book. Another wonderful way to share reading is to have your child read to you. It’s nice listening to someone else read but it also helps you be aware of any struggles that your child may be having. Discussing the book together allows you to see if they comprehend what they read.
Reading, whether it’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not or War and Peace, is a wonderful way to expand your mind as well as share quality time with your child.